THE PRIVATE LIFE OF HENRY VIII
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(Frank Lloyd) On a luxurious ocean liner, an elegantly dressed couple conclude a romantic tête-à-tête to reveal a life preserver with the name Titanic. Noël Coward’s stage hit chronicles two Upstairs/Downstairs couples from 1899 to 1933. Print courtesy Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.
Approx. 110 min. 35mm. 4:55, 9:00
“An orgy of British self-congratulation in the restrained, clipped style of Noël Coward, with the added know-how of an American producer (Winfield Sheehan) and a Hollywood director (Frank Lloyd)… Coward knows plenty of tricks, and the performers know how to get the most out of his lines.”
– Pauline Kael
(Alexander Korda) Historical pageant/bedroom farce, as Charles Laughton (first non-Hollywood Oscar winner) romances and dispatches six wives while taking apart a capon in the classic banquet scene, plus wedding night card game with real-life wife Elsa Lanchester’s Anne of Cleves. Approx. 97 min. 35mm.
“Laughton’s work is shrewd and zesty; it’s a marvelous record of the most meticulous ham actor who ever lived.”
– Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
“Alexander Korda directed this war-horse of the movie repertory, which is still alive and in good spirits.”
– Pauline Kael
“Fleet, ribald and gorgeously designed… [The film’s] images of Laughton voraciously chomping on mutton and chicken legs while gulping down ale remain culturally definitive versions of Henry VIII.”
– Michael Koresky, The Criterion Collection